When President Gerald Ford nixed financial aid for New York City back in the 1970s, the front page of a brassy Big Apple tabloid blared: “Ford to City: Drop Dead.”
Which brings us to the Republican bill undoing the Dix deal. Which brings us to two GOP Senators from Wake County who cut and ran from their party.
Chad Barefoot and Neal Hunt got what Senator Josh Stein was getting at when he said Republicans are killing the park plan because Raleigh is “a city you don’t like.”
Barefoot and Hunt might look safe politically. They have good districts. They have a big money advantage.
But, to keep winning, they have to win moderate Independents. The kind of voters who don’t like partisanship. The kind of voters who might see the legislature as a bunch of rural Tea Party extremists who hate cities in general and Raleigh in particular. The kind of voters who see Republicans nationally as a gang of vengeful, angry old white men.
Barefoot and Hunt have to worry that a future opponent might figure out that there are a lot of well-heeled people in Raleigh who are mad enough to give big money to a Democrat – or to a super-PAC helping Democrats.
They also have to worry that, in 2014, President Obama’s OFA might pump a lot of money into North Carolina. Or that, in 2016, Hillary Clinton might set off a Democratic tidal wave among moderate Independent women in their districts.
Hunt and Barefoot have no control over a lot of that. They could control how they voted. So they voted with Raleigh and against their fellow Republicans.